"Hope you guess my name"
On July 13, 1970, California highway patrol picked up "two longhairs," Stanley Baker and Harry Allen Stroup, on suspicion of a hit-and-run near Big Sur. Baker not only readily admitted fleeing the scene, but added "I have a problem. I'm a cannibal ." In the pockets of both men were found human finger bones, taken from a recent victim in Montana named James Schlosser, whose mutilated remains were also missing a heart. Baker confessed to having eaten it.
Remember the times: the Tate-LaBianca murders were the summer before, and Manson and his Family members were in custody but not yet convicted. (Manson's trial didn't conclude until the following July.) A couple of murderous, hippie cannibals tripping around Southern California with bones in their pocket - why not? It was what the helter skelter mainstream mania was conditioning America's consciousness to expect from its counterculture. Baker's eager confession to crimes of which he was not a suspect suggest he may have been part of the program.
The criminal system's handling of Baker suggest it got with the program, too: though he was a convicted multiple murderer and confessed cannibal who howled at full moons and had 11 makeshift weapons conviscated in custody, "administrators still saw fit to let him travel through the prison system, teaching transactional analysis to other inmates" and proselytizing for his Satanic cult. Stroup was released in 1979 and Baker in 1986, "requesting that his present whereabouts remain confidential."
Baker claimed he had been recruited into a neo-Nazi Satanic cult while in a Wyoming college, which he identified as the "Four Pi Movement," also known as the 4P. It was a splinter of the Process Church, which itself had broken away from the Church of Scientology. The name was derived from the Processean symbol of four P's arranged in a stylized Swastika, representing Jehovah, Jesus, Lucifer and Satan. (Members "were urged to pick one that they could identify with and devote themselves to that deity.")
Four P rituals were conducted "on the basis of a stellar timetable, including the sacrifice of Doberman and German shepherd dogs":
Beginning in June 1968, authorities in San Jose, Santa Cruz, and Los Gatos began recording discovery of canines, skinned and drained of blood without apparent motive. As the director of the Santa Cruz animal shelter told [Ed] Sanders, "Whoever is doing this is a real expert with a knife. The skin is cut away without even marking the flesh. The really strange thing is that these dogs have been drained of blood." If we accept the word of isolated witnesses, the missing blood was drunk by cultists in their ceremonies. So, according to reports, was human blood, obtained from sacrificial victims murdered on a dragon-festooned altar.
Baker reported having participated in human sacrifices in the Santa Ana Mountains, and confessed to playing a part in the April 20, 1970 murder of Robert Salem, a 40-year-old lighting designer in San Francisco stabbed 27 times and nearly decapitated. Slogans were painted on the walls in Salem's blood, including "Zodiac" and "Satan Saves," which, according to Baker, "were meant to stir up panic in an atmosphere already tense from revelations in the Manson murder trial."
The killings, he said, were on the order of the group leader, known as the "Grand Chignon" (a title which was also used for Manson by some Family members who were said to have links to the group). The Grand Chignon was reputed to be a wealthy, middle-aged, Los Angeles businessman. Four P is known by other names - the "Children" in New York, the "Children of Light" in Alabama, perhaps even Henry Lee Lucas's "Hand of Death":
A faction called the "Black Cross" is said to operate as a kind of Satanic Murder Incorporated, fielding anonymous hit teams for cultists nationwide, disposing of defectors and offering pointers on the fine art of human sacrifice. If law enforcement spokesmen are correct, the cult is also deeply involved in...child pornography , and the international narcotics trade.
Four P did not die out with its hippie slavestock. Between October 1976 and October 1977 a disturbing pattern resumed, this time in New York City, when 85 German shepherds and Dobermans were found skinned and drained of blood. And then came the "Son of Sam."
David Berkowitz claimed the Sam murders had been a group action, and that he had been selected to be the fall guy for all of them. He said the group was a Satanic cult called "the Four Pi." To support his allegations, he shared unpublished facts of the ritual murder of Stanford, California student, and native of Bismark, North Dakota, Arlis Perry. A murder that remains officially unsolved.
On October 11, 1974 - the anniversary of Manson's arrest - Perry was brutally slain in Stanford's Memorial Church. She had been beaten, choked and stabbed behind the ear with an ice pick. Her body was found with a tall candle in her vagina, and another between her breasts.
Berkowitz said she had been murdered by California cultists as a favour to their associates in North Dakota, who had been offended by the Christian Perry's attempt to evangelize some of their members. Maury Terry investigated Berkowitz's claims for his book The Ultimate Evil and not only found evidence for a Satanic cult in Bismark, but that it had held midnight meetings in the woods behind Mary College - "a tiny school that neither we in New York nor the California police had ever hear of" - just as Berkowitz had said.
The cult's existence in a wooded area behind the school has been confirmed by at least ten people, including police officers, area residents, nuns who taught at Mary College and other Bismark citizens who were involved in Christian activities. Importantly, the latter sources belonged to the same religious organizations as Arlis did.... A friend said "She definitely knew about it. We discussed the cult several times at our...meetings."
One nun who taught at Mary told me: "My students knew all about it. They said the cult used to kill dogs back of here." ... A married couple who lived in a trailer home near the cult meeting site at Mary told me that they saw torches and heard chanting and that three of their pet dogs were abducted in the middle of the night and later found mutilated inside a circle of stones.
The morning of Perry's Bismark funeral, a man in clad in black was seen trying to break into the church. Two weeks later, her grave marker was stolen.
Perry's pastor told Terry that before the murder, "a friend of one of my parishioners went down to Mary and hid out on the hill one night to spy on the cult. I never found out who they were, but she said there were some well-known Bismark citizens in attendance." Berkowitz had also asserted that the Bismark cult included prominent citizens.
Mandan police sergeant Lamar Kruckenberg told Terry that "In early '74 an undercover cop was brought to an indoor cult meeting in Bismark by one of his informants":
He was looking for drug activity - there was no suggestion of murder at this time, which was about seven months before Arlis' death. This cop told me the people there were wearing masks because there were supposed to be some respected Bismark people among them.
The Son of Sam case is a quarter-century old. In America, that qualifies as ancient history, yet it's neither. The received story is of one more lone nut; this one, an overweight slob who was hearing voices from his neighbour Sam's dog. Less well known is that the actual sons of Sam Carr, John and Michael, were likely Berkowitz's fellow cultists. Before he could answer Berkowitz's allegations, John was found shot to death in February 1978, "SSNYC" scrawled next to his body, which seems to suggest "Son of Sam, New York City." The following October, Michael died in a mysterious car accident.
The case of cannibal-at-large Stanley Baker, and the ritual slaying of Arlis Perry? They aren't even considered important enough now to explain with creative fictions.
All those dead dogs, skinned and drained of blood? We'll pretend they're sleeping, and let them lie.
And the respected figures behind the masks, and their black magick, national network of ritual murder, child pornography and drug trafficking? Well, let's just say that can't possibly be true.